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Exploring scotland: why canal holidays are superb
Where are Scottish canal holidays located?
Scotland canal holidays are centred on three large waterways: the Caledonian Canal (62 miles long), the Forth and Clyde Canal (35 miles) and the Union Canal (31.5 miles). Several smaller canals taking pleasure craft, such as the Crinan Canal and the Aberdeenshire Canal.
- The Caledonian Canal connects Inverness in the north with Fort William on the west coast. Only a third man-made, the remainder comprises Scottish lakes (locally called lochs), taking you by spectacular mountain landscapes. Your canal holiday will cross Loch Ness, so deep London’s BT Tower would be swallowed by it, and known the world over for its legendary monster!
- The Forth and Clyde Canal criss-crosses the central belt, connecting Edinburgh and Glasgow. One highlight of the trip is the spectacular Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift.
- The Union Canal connects central Edinburgh with the Forth and Clyde Canal, taking you through Scotland’s capital city’s historic architecture.
What home comforts are available while I’m holidaying on Scotland’s canals?
Canal boats have come a long way since the rust buckets that once plied their trade. The modern equivalent come in various shapes and sizes, typically 4 - 8 berth cruisers, fully equipped with showers and fitted kitchens (galleys to use the nautical term!)
Where do I book my Scottish canal holiday?
There are many sites for booking Scotland canal holidays, such as Blakes (www.blakes.co.uk). Prices vary but a typical weekly hire for a 6-berth vessel starts at £513. For further information, check out hire a narrowboat.